1 May

HOW TO PICK THE BEST MORTGAGE FOR YOUR SITUATION!

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Most Canadians are conditioned to think that the lowest interest rate means the best mortgage product. Although sometimes that is true, a mortgage is much more than just an interest rate. You can save yourself a lot of money if you pay attention to the fine print for the total cost of your mortgage.

In order to pick the best mortgage, you need to understand your options. This comes with mortgage intelligence, understanding how mortgages work and the pros and cons of the various options.
Once you’ve selected the type of mortgage, then you’ll need to shop for the most competitive option available to you and that means making some decisions based on your specific situation including:

• Are you planning to move in the next 5 years
• Will your family be growing/shrinking?
• Will your employment change and if it does will you need to relocate?
• Would thousands of dollars in penalties impact you if you need to break your mortgage?
• What types of debts do you have? Credit cards? Car loan? Student loan? Line of Credit?

Why do all this work? Because it will have a direct impact on your bottom line. A mortgage is made up of two parts—the principal and interest—you need to pay attention to how and when these parts get paid down. Ideally, you want to minimize your interest payments and maximize the principal payments.

New Government Stress Test Jan. 1, 2018 – whichever is the highest is how you must qualify for a mortgage.
• Qualify at the Chartered Bank Benchmark Rate (Government Rate) which fluctuates (currently 5.34%)
• OR the contract rate your lender gives you PLUS 2% i.e. 3.69% + 2% = 5.69%
• Since 5.69% is the highest – that would be the stress tested rate.
What this means to you is… if you have to qualify for a mortgage at a rate about 2% higher than the lender is giving you, your buying power decreases by about 20%.
To pick the best formula for your situation, you’ll first need to understand some of the factors that impact how much interest you’ll pay for your mortgage loan.

Understanding these 6 mortgage terms will help you make the best decision for your situation

Amortization

Amortization is a fancy word that means the “life of your mortgage” OR how long it takes to pay off your mortgage if you paid your mortgage for “X” years. The amount of your mortgage loan repayment is calculated based on a length of time you agree to pay off that debt. In Canada, the standard amortization period is 25 years.

• For a 30-year amortization you need a 20% or higher down payment
Picking the best mortgage is not just about qualifying for the mortgage. The amortization period is integral in the best mortgage decision because it will decide how much or how little interest you will pay during the life of the mortgage loan.
• The longer the amortization period (25 years vs 30 years) the more interest you will pay.
• Therefore, a shorter amortization period will lower your overall cost of borrowing BUT you must be able to afford the higher payments.
Once you’ve decided on your amortization, you will need to decide how frequently you would like to make your mortgage payments. Every mortgage payment (consisting of both interest and principal) will help reduce your principal (the amount of money you borrowed) and eventually reduces the overall interest you pay on this loan.
• Monthly, bi-monthly, accelerated bi-weekly or weekly mortgage payments.

Term

In the 1980’s mortgage interest rates were as high as 22%. Interest rates can change over time therefore, lenders don’t want to negotiate a 25-year loan at 4% interest if the interest rates go up to 10% in 5 years. To avoid the risk, lenders break your mortgage amortization into smaller terms.

• The term is shorter than the amortization period and locks you into your pre-negotiated rates during that time.
• The length of term you choose (most Canadians choose 5 years) will depend partly on if you think interest rates will rise or fall. Typical terms are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 10.

About 3-6 months before your current term matures, your current lender usually sends you a renewal notice with options on rates for the various terms they offer (typically 1 to 10 years).
Once you get your renewal notice, you need to contact your mortgage broker to ensure you’re choosing the best option for your situation.

Closed Mortgage

A closed mortgage usually offers the lowest interest rates available.
Closed mortgages cannot be paid off before the end of its term without triggering a penalty. Some lenders allow for a partial prepayment of a closed mortgage by increasing the mortgage payment or a lump sum prepayment.

• If you try and “break your mortgage” or if any prepayments are made above the stipulated allowance the lender allows, a penalty will be charged.

Open Mortgage
An open mortgage is a more flexible mortgage that allows you to pay off your mortgage in part or in full before the end of its term without penalty, because of the flexibility the interest rates are higher.

• The interest rates for an open mortgage are typically 3-4% higher than a closed rate mortgage.
• i.e. a home buyer could pay 6.99% for a 5-year open mortgage vs. 3.99% for a five-year closed mortgage.
If you plan to sell your home soon or expect a large sum of money, an open mortgage can be a great option. Most lenders will allow you to convert from an open to a closed mortgage at any time (and switch you to lower rates).
Fixed mortgage – you have the same payment for the term of the mortgage

Variable mortgage – the mortgage rate and your monthly payments will vary depending on the Bank of Canada rate (Prime)

Fixed rate:
• Pro – you would have the same mortgage payment for the entire term of the mortgage
• Your mortgage payments are not affected by Bank of Canada Rate or Canadian Bond Yield
• Think of fixed rate as an insurance policy – you pay a premium to guarantee “fixed” rates for the balance of the term

• Pro – can port a fixed mortgage
• Con – higher interest rates
• Con – MUCH higher penalties if you need to break your mortgage (can be 4-5% of outstanding balance with Banks/Credit Unions)
• 60% of home owners, break their mortgage before it matures!
• Conclusions: How much does it cost to break a mortgage?

Variable rate:
• Pro – lower rates than the Fixed Rate – you would pay less now that you would for a Fixed Rate mortgage
• Pro – Penalty for breaking is 3 months interest (about 0.5-1% of outstanding balance).
• Pro – you can lock into a fixed rate mortgage (assuming your mortgage is in good standing) at any time, based on the amount of time remaining on your mortgage and the current posted rates.
• i.e. If you have a 5-year variable mortgage and you want to move to Fixed after 2 years, you would lock into the lenders current 3 year fixed posted rate
• Con – Cannot port a variable mortgage
• Con – Mortgage payments will increase/decrease based on the Bank of Canada rate – currently 1.75% and the lenders prime rate = Prime is currently 3.95%
• Bank of Canada meets 8 times a year
• Every 0.25% increase with the lender Prime rate will cost you an extra $13/$100,000 borrowed. i.e. $300K mortgage = will be about $39/month more/less

The best way to decide on the best mortgage is to contact your friendly neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker. Mortgages are complicated, but they don’t have to be… Engage an expert!

These great tips above were provided by Kelly Hudson of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts out of Richmond BC.  

26 Mar

INTEREST RATE CUT MORE LIKELY THAN HIKE IN 2019

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

When the Bank of Canada decided this month to keep its benchmark interest rates stable at 1.75%, it signalled the weakening economy makes it unlikely a rate increase is anywhere on the horizon.

Inflation is not where it should be, we’re not in a deflation mode right now, but inflation is under control and there’s no real need for them to raise interest rates.

Because many of the economic indicators are pointing downward, this puts the bank in a position where it can’t raise rates. This makes refinancing a more attractive option for some homeowners this year.

A lot of economists are saying that Canada is heading back into another crisis, which is an indicator that rates may drop again. This new norm will probably stay around for a little while, but rates will eventually go up. And when it goes up, people have to be obviously prepared for it.

So, for now, homeowners shouldn’t worry too much about a sudden jump in rates. While this may be a new normal, if the economy begins a turnaround, they should be ready or a bump in rates, but I don’t think it’s going to happen the next couple of years.

Usually, Canada’s economy runs almost parallel to that of our southern neighbour’s. However, the two economies seem to have gone their separate ways lately.

There’s a divergence right now that is going to occur between the Canadian and U.S. economies. When people talk about the U.S. sneezing and Canada catches a cold—this is not what’s happening right now. There’s a divergence in the interest rates. Where in the States rates are going up, in Canada, rates cannot go up because of the way our economy is actually going.

Thank you to Terry Kilakos of our North East Mortgages office, in Ville Ste-Laurent, QC.

 

22 Mar

FEDERAL BUDGET 2019 – A Closer Look

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Kevin Carlson of Dominion Lending Centres Regina, has taken the time to break down the math regarding the new changes set out in the last budget and has explained a little further, the potential savings.
Bear in mind that the incentive funds of up to 10% on a new home and 5% on an existing home are merely an interest free loan that must be repaid upon sale of the property. This is for first time home buyers and household income cannot exceed $120,000 per year.
I will use the example that was in the budget release that illustrates the very maximum benefit available.

Details of the example

-New home purchase price: $400,000
-Household income: $120,000
-Down payment from the buyer: $20,000
-CMHC Incentive Loan: $40,000
-Assuming level fixed rate of 3.5% with an amortization of 25 years.

*Mortgage default insurance (CMHC) is required for a home purchase with less than 20% down payment. The insurance premium percentage decreases for each additional 5% down payment. The buyer with the standard 5% down mortgage pays a much higher premium.
When underwriting the original mortgages, the buyer that is using the CMHC incentive loan is allowed to have more ongoing debt payments outside of the mortgage. The incentive buyer can have monthly debt payments up to $1,650 per month, when the standard 5% down buyer can only have up to $1,100.00 per month.
I will take it a step further with the longer-term effects after the sale of each home. I will use a market value increase of 15% over 5 years bringing the sale price to $460,000.00.

It is very clear from the above financial illustration that the benefits of the CMHC incentive loan are realized in the up-front savings on the insurance premium and the reduced interest costs during the mortgage term. If this program comes into effect, I will be advising buyers to set the mortgage payments as close to the 5% down level as possible to further leverage the benefit and put more in their pocket after the sale. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage.

Thank you to Kevin Carlson, Dominion Lending Centres – Regina, for this insight into the new budget incentives.

6 Mar

VARIABLE RATE? TO LOCK IN OR NOT?

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

This post applies if you are taking a new mortgage, whether it’s for a purchase, refinance, or renewal. The variable remains the main contender.

But what about all the economists saying if you are currently in a variable rate mortgage then you should rush to ‘lock in’?

You mean the economists that are employed by profit driven shareholder owned institutions that directly benefit from your locking-in (banks) via instantly increased profit margins and massively higher (up to 900% higher) prepayment penalties that 2/3 mortgage holders will trigger?

A bit biased, that crowd.
Also they are generalists, they’re not specialists.

But what about independent real estate experts?

While these experts may have their finger on the pulse of many facets of the real estate market, many remain totally unaware of how exactly mortgage prepayment penalties are calculated, and just how likely you are to trigger them.

Also generalists, are unaware of many nuances of mortgage products.

So what’s my game?

I’ve never really had game, so to speak. And I don’t stand to profit from your locking in, or from your staying variable. In fact as I type this on a stunning day I’m wondering just what I’m doing in my office at all.

I’m just a Mortgage Broker offering an opinion. An opinion that reflects my personal policy, an opinion shaped through 25 years of experience with my own mortgages, an opinion based on 11 years of experience with 1,673 client’s mortgages.

I’ve seen a few things, mortgage specific things.

I’ve watched 2/3 of my clients break their mortgages and trigger penalties. Almost every single one of them a small and relatively painless penalty thanks to staying variable.

But what about these rising rates?

If you are currently in a Prime -.65% to Prime -1.00% variable then to lock-in would be to inflict an immediate rate hike on yourself that might take the government another 12-18 months to pull off… if they pull it off.

Stay variable.

If you are in a Prime -.35 or shallower mortgage, we should discuss restructuring that into a Prime -1.00% mortgage and reducing your rate by .65% or more.

Staying variable.

My crystal ball says yes, perhaps another two or three 0.25% hikes through 2019, but at that point the odds favour (heavily) an economic contraction that will in turn trigger a corresponding reduction in interest rates.

It is my theory, and that of others smarter than I, that the fed is pushing rates up aggressively to beat said economic contraction, because they want to have the tool of ‘reducing interest rates’ back in their toolbox when the rainy days come. And we are overdue for stormy economic times. And when those times arrive it will not be prudent to be locked-in.

In short, life is variable – your mortgage should be as well. If you have any questions, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today.

Great advise from:

DUSTAN WOODHOUSE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Dustan is part of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Coquitlam, BC

4 Mar

CANADIAN ECONOMY HITS A MAJOR POTHOLE IN Q4

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

This morning, Stats Canada released disappointing figures showing that the economy barely grew in the final quarter of last year. Weakness in the oil sector was expected, but the downturn went well beyond the energy sector and bodes ill for a return to healthy growth this year.

The country’s economy grew by just 0.1% in the fourth quarter, for an annualized growth rate of 0.4%–the weakest performance since the second quarter of 2016, down from an annualized 2% pace in the third quarter and well below economist’s expectation of a 1% annualized gain.

For the year as a whole, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 1.8% pace in 2018, down substantially from the 3% growth recorded in 2017. In comparison, the U.S. economy grew 2.9% last year with Q4 growth at 2.6%.

Canada’s economy was battered by lower export prices for crude oil and crude bitumen walloping Alberta. Housing activity in the province slowed from already weak levels as unsold inventories rose and prices edged downward. As well, business investment dropped sharply in the final three months of the year, and household spending slowed for the second consecutive quarter.

Consumer spending on durable goods, especially motor vehicles, hit the skids as overall household outlays for products and services weakened. Consumption spending grew at the slowest pace in almost four years.

Housing fell by the most in a decade, business investment dropped sharply for a second straight quarter, and domestic demand posted its most significant decline since 2015. Housing investment plummeted, falling at a 3.9% quarterly rate as the housing market continued to soften, with the most substantial decrease in new construction (-5.5% quarterly), followed by renovations (-2.7%) and ownership transfer costs (-2.6%). (*see note below)

Business investment in plant and equipment fell 2.9%, the sharpest drop since the fourth quarter of 2016.

The only thing that kept the nation’s economy from contracting was a build-up in inventories as companies stockpiled goods. Without a doubt, much of the inventory accumulation was unintended, as the slowdown in demand caught businesses by surprise.

Implications for the Bank of Canada

Canada’s economy has been plagued by trade uncertainties, reduced oil demand by the U.S., rising interest rates, and tighter mortgage credit conditions. Consumer and business confidence has declined, and inflation remains muted. Despite a relatively robust labour market, wage growth has slowed. The Bank of Canada is widely expected to stay on the sidelines next week when the Governing Council meets once again on Wednesday. The central bank’s latest forecast, from January, was for annualized growth of 1.3% in the fourth quarter, more than three times stronger than today’s reported pace of 0.4%. The Bank expects growth to decelerate further to 0.8% in the current quarter, before rebounding back to above 2% growth by next year.

The latest data puts the economy’s ability to rebound to more normal levels in question. Monthly data released today show the economy ended the year contracting, with December gross domestic product down 0.1%. Most economists now expect the Bank of Canada will refrain from raising interest rates for the remainder of this year.

*Note:

*Housing investment in the GDP accounts is technically called “Gross fixed capital formation in residential structures”. It includes three major elements:
• new residential construction;
• renovations; and
• ownership transfer costs.
New residential construction is the most significant component. Renovations to existing residential structures are the second largest element of housing investment. Ownership transfer costs include all costs associated with the transfer of a residential asset from one owner to another. These costs are as follows:
• real estate commissions;
• land transfer taxes;
• legal costs (fees paid to notaries, surveyors, experts, etc.); and
• file review costs (inspection and surveying).

Royal Bank Cautions Against Budget Measures to Increase Millennial Homeownership Demand

A new report hit my inbox yesterday written by Robert Hogue, a senior economist at the Royal Bank urging the federal government to withhold the expected support for millennial home purchases in the March 19th budget. Mr. Hogue writes that “Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is reportedly poised to unveil new budget measures to help more Canadian millennials become homeowners. While that generation does face housing-related challenges, especially in some larger and more expensive Canadian cities, we urge him to tread carefully. On the surface, ideas like relaxing the mortgage stress test, extending the maximum amortization period for insured mortgages, or increasing the amount of RRSP take-out for a first home down payment might bring short-term relief to buyers. But they do nothing to address what we believe is the root of Canada’s housing woes: gaps in the mix of housing options in some of Canada’s larger markets. Meanwhile, the measures won’t address the issue of high household debt, and may actually inflate home prices.”

The bank economist takes “issue with the notion that Canada has a home ownership problem in the first place. On average, more than 40% of Canadian households under 35 years of age own their own homes. And the proportion of all Canadian households who own a home is one of the highest among advanced economies. Even Toronto and Vancouver—the least affordable markets in the country—rank near the top of global cities on home ownership and have home ownership rates that are about double cities like Paris and Berlin. And despite a notable decline in the past decade, the ownership rate among younger households (Canada’s millennials) remains not only high historically in Canada but also compared to other countries, including the U.S.”

I urge you to read the report. The data provided in the charts are compelling. The real problem is the dearth of supply of “starter” homes in Canada’s most expensive cities. The measures likely to be introduced in the budget will not address the housing supply gaps and could well further inflate prices. “What millennials in Vancouver and Toronto really need is more inventory of homes they can afford, and a better mix of housing options—be it to own or rent…. At the very least, the collective goal should be to remove barriers (regulatory, administrative or otherwise) inhibiting home developers and builders to respond quickly to the demand for new housing—especially when that demand is rising rapidly.”

DR. SHERRY COOPER

Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres
Sherry is an award-winning authority on finance and economics with over 30 years of bringing economic insights and clarity to Canadians.

26 Feb

TRANSFERS AND SWITCHES

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Transfer/Switches are when you opt to transfer your mortgage to a new lender in order to take advantage of a lower rate. A transfer/switch does not include additional money to the existing mortgage balance owing, your mortgage amount will remain the same, however lenders will allow you to increase the mortgage up to $3,000 to cover legal costs, possible appraisal fees and if applicable, penalty fees – more on that below.

*Note: If you do require new money or funds (more than $3,000.00) this would then be considered a refinance.

There are two scenarios where you would utilize a Transfer Switch:

1. When your mortgage term is up, and the mortgage is renewing with your existing lender. If you choose to transfer/switch your mortgage at renewal you will not have to pay a penalty. You will still need to qualify and there may be legal and appraisal costs associated with the transfer/switch, just as you would with a new mortgage. However, many lenders offer you the option to include the legal and appraisal fees into you new mortgage and some lenders may cover these costs for you.
2. The second scenario you may choose to do a transfer/switch is when you are in the middle of the term of your mortgage. The only reason you would do this is to take advantage of a lower rate which means a lower monthly payment. This would have to make sense financially for you to do as you will have a penalty associated with breaking the current mortgage.

If your mortgage is up for renewal, or if you are considering a transfer/switch in light of recent rate changes, a mortgage broker can assist you in making the right decision. Similar to when you first financed your mortgage, having a broker assist you gives you:

A DEDICATED INDIVIDUAL SHOPPING FOR YOU:
Reputable brokers have your best interest in mind first!

Your mortgage professional will shop the market to find the best overall cost of borrowing for the client. Broker’s will look at all angles of the product to ensure that the client is getting one that will suit their unique and specific needs. Not once will the client be expected to shop their mortgage around or to speak to the lender.

ACCESS TO THE BEST RATES & PRODUCTS
A mortgage professional has access to:
• Tier 1 banks in Canada
• Credit Unions
• Monoline Lenders
• Alternative Lenders
• Private Lenders

This extensive network of lender options allows brokers to ensure that you are not only getting the sharpest rate, but that the mortgage product is also aligned with the client’s needs.
Now, a few details that you should know before you transfer/switch your mortgage:

YOU WILL HAVE TO SUPPLY DOCUMENTS
Just like when you went through the process the first time, you will have to supply documents to the new lender in order to transfer/switch.

YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY OUT CERTAIN COSTS
As mentioned above, there costs associated with your transfer/switch. If your mortgage is up for renewal and you are opting to transfer/switch these may include admin and legal fees. If you are opting to transfer mid-term to take advantage of a lower rate with a different lender, these may include your penalty and legal/admin fees. However, many lenders will offer up to $3,000 financed into your mortgage to assist in covering these if applicable

YOU WILL HAVE TO QUALIFY UNDER CURRENT REGULATIONS
With a transfer/switch, you are required to pass any and all regulations and stress testing measures may be applicable, however If you are looking at a transfer/switch and your previous mortgage funded prior to November 30, 2016 old mortgage rules apply (no stress test is required). This means
• You are grandfathered in previous under mortgage rules
• You can qualify at the contract rate rather than the stress test of contract rate plus 2% or the benchmark rate (currently at 5.34%)
• In simple terms: no stress testing required.

Before you consider moving, you should run through the numbers with a broker and ensure you qualify. To find out more about stress testing measure, click here.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PENALTY
If you are switching/transferring mid-term a penalty will apply to your mortgage. To find out what that penalty will look like, you can check out our article here, but we also encourage you to speak to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker and have a clear understanding of what you will be paying out. If you are up for renewal and are looking to transfer, you will not have to pay a penalty and may or may not have the aforementioned fees associated with setting up the new mortgage with a new lender.

Remember, a broker is there to work with you to determine if a transfer/switch is right for you and to help you establish which lender will give you not only the best rate, but the most suitable mortgage product too!

Great article written by Geoff Lee of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.

22 Feb

MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENTS

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Are you looking for that new dream home, or anything that will get you out of your current rental property so you can officially become a homeowner?

If so, what is the minimum amount you are required to put down?

Below are three different purchase price categories. Each one has their own minimum down payment requirements and we have included some important notes to also consider at those prices.

| $1-$500,000 | Minimum 5% Down Payment |

  • The lowest amount you need as a cash down payment for a purchase up to $500,000 is only 5% of the purchase price.
  • For a $300,000 home, this would be $15,000.

| $500,001 – $999,999 | Blended Down Payment |

  • The minimum down payment if your purchase price falls in this category is 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the remainder up to a million dollars.
  • For a $650,000 purchase price, you would be required to put down $25,000 (5% on amount up to $500,000) and $15,000 (10% of the amount above $500,000 [$150,000 in this case]) for a total minimum down payment of $40,000. This would be a 6.15% down payment.

| $1,000,000 + | Sliding Scale |

  • 20% requirement on entire amount up to $1,250,000 and 50% down payment on amount over $1,250,000 subject to a 75% loan to value.
  • A $1,100,000 purchase price would be a minimum down payment of $220,000 (20%).
  • $1,350,000 purchase price would require $250,000 (20% on $1,250,000) plus an additional $50,000 (50% of amount above $1,250,000 [$100,000 in this case]).
  • Some lenders may make different exceptions depending on the strength of an application but, for the most part, the sliding scale information above is quite accurate.

There you have it! The three most common sized purchase prices and their required minimum down payment. Please keep in mind that almost all lenders will require you to have an additional 1.5% of the property value available in cash to cover all closing costs which may include, for example, lawyer fees, property transfer tax, and insurance. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional near you.

Great information provided by Ryan Oake of DLC Producers West Financial based in Langley, BC.  Thanks Ryan!

21 Feb

5 REASONS WHY YOU DON’T QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

It’s not just because of finances.

As a mortgage broker I receive calls from people who want to know how to qualify for a mortgage. Most of the time it comes down to finances but there are other reasons as well.
Here are the 5 most common reasons why your home mortgage loan application could be denied:

1. Too Much Debt

When home buyers seek a mortgage, the words “debt-to-income ratio” quickly enters into the vocabulary, and it’s not without reason. Too much debt is a red flag to lenders, signifying you may not be able to handle credit responsibly.
Lenders will analyze how much debt you carry and what percentage of your income it takes to pay your debt. Debt ration is just as important as your credit score and payment history.
Two affordability ratios you need to be aware of:
• Rule #1 – GROSS DEBT SERVICE (GDS) Your monthly housing costs are generally not supposed to exceed 32% of your gross monthly income.
• Rule #2 – TOTAL DEBT SERVICE (TDS) Your entire monthly debt payments should not exceed 42% of your gross monthly income.

If you don’t have a good debt to income ratio, don’t give up hope. You have options available including lowering your current debt levels and working with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker.

2. Poor Credit History

Some people don’t realize if they are late on their credit card/loan/mortgage payments the lender sends that information to the credit bureaus.
• Late/non payments on your credit report will make your score drop like a rock
• Exceeding your credit card limit, applying for more credit cards/loans will lower your score.
• Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal will significantly impact your score, and stay on your credit report for up to 7 years.
Your credit history is a great way for a lender to tell whether you’re a risky investment or not. Lenders look not only at your minimum credit score, but also at whether you have a significant amount of late payments on your credit report.
Your Mortgage Broker will run your credit bureau to see if there are any challenges you need to be aware of.

3. Insufficient Income and Assets

With the high price of homes in the Vancouver & Toronto area, sometimes people simply don’t earn enough money to afford: mortgage payments, property taxes and strata fees along with their existing debt (credit cards, loans, lines of credit etc.).
You need to prove your previous 2 years’ income on your taxes with your Notice of Assessments (NOA). This is the summary form that the Federal Government sends back to you after you file your taxes, showing how much you filed for income and if you either owe money or received a refund.
If you can’t provide documentation to prove your income, then you will likely get denied for a home mortgage loan.
Some home buyers will need to provide more money for a down payment (perhaps a gift from their family) or try to purchase a home with suite income. In some cases, home buyers will need to add someone else on title of the home, in order to add their income to the mortgage application.

4. Down Payment is Too Small

A lender looks at the down payment as how much of an investment a buyer will be putting in their future home. Therefore, bigger is always better when it comes a down payment to satisfy your home mortgage loan application. Start saving now.
To qualify for a mortgage in Canada the minimum down payment is 5% for the purchase of an owner-occupied home and 20% for a rental property.
In Canada if you have less than 20% down payment, the federal government dictates that the home buyer must purchase CMHC Mortgage Default Insurance which is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment. The more you borrow the higher percentage you will pay in insurance premiums.
For those with less than 20% down payment, the maximum amortization is 25 years, with more than 20% down payment 30-35 years (depending on the lender).

5. Inadequate Employment History

Most lenders will want to see a consistent employment history of 2 years when applying for a mortgage, because they want to know you’re able to hold down a job long enough to pay back the money they’ve loaned you.
To prove your employment, you will need to prove a Job Letter with salary details.

If you’ve been denied a mortgage, chances are it was because of one of the above five reasons. Don’t be deterred, with a little patience and some work on your end, you can put yourself in a position to get approved the next time you apply.

This is great information provided by Kelly Hudson of our Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Experts office in Richmond, BC.  Thanks to Kelly for helping break this information down.

20 Feb

Bank of Canada Hike Next Monthly Not Likely – Dr. Sherry Cooper DLC

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Taking into account the current economic burdens presented by weaknesses in housing, oil, and trade, the Bank of Canada is unlikely to hike interest rates in its next meeting in March, Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Sherry Cooper predicted.

“Although job growth has been stronger than expected, wage gains have moderated and inflation pressures are muted,” Cooper wrote.

And while the most in-demand markets will continue to see housing price growth, such increases will be relatively muted compared to the highs achieved in previous years – and will actually be somewhat offset by pronounced slowdown elsewhere.

“We are likely in store for a prolonged period of modest housing gains in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, stability or softening in much of British Columbia and further weakening in the Prairies, Alberta, and Newfoundland & Labrador.”

The running theme this year would be sluggish sales and glacial-pace price growth, Cooper stated.

“While there will still be some significant regional divergences, there is no need for further policy actions to affect demand. Indeed, a growing chorus has been calling for lowering the mortgage qualification rate from the posted five-year fixed rate, currently 5.34%, to closer to the actual conventional rate, about 200 basis points lower.”

Read more: Rate hikes will impede many Canadians’ home-buying plans

In early January, money manager BlackRock Inc. noted that the BoC will almost certainly keep its interest rates flat until at least next year, “given increased market volatility and more restrictive financial conditions.”

“The bank has latitude to go on an extended pause,” BlackRock head of Canadian fixed income Aubrey Basdeo told BNN Bloomberg. “What’s the rush to get to neutral if inflation’s not an issue?”

Reduced inflationary pressure stemming from lower petroleum prices will also play a major role.

“With some of the volatility we’ve seen in the financial markets and the lower oil prices’ impact on economic activity in Western Canada, the Bank of Canada can afford to be cautious and will be in no rush to their next rate hike,” TD Bank senior economist James Marple said in late December.

19 Feb

GET TO KNOW TITLE INSURANCE

General

Posted by: Michelle Zimmerman

Geoff Lee of Dominion Lending Centres – Vancouver, has some great information below on Title Insurance and the need for it!

Are you officially Mortgage Free? CONGRATULATIONS! That is a monumental milestone to achieve!

With that significant accomplishment, you should look at obtaining a Title Insurance Policy. What most people don’t realize is that when you had a mortgage, the lender will likely have had this in place for you. Once your mortgage is paid out in full the insurance is no longer in place. It is crucial that once your final payment is made that you, as a home owner, now get a policy.

What is Title Insurance? Good question!

Title Insurance protects you, the homeowner. It’s not like traditional insurance in that it does not ONLY cover things that might happen, but it also covers things such as property defects that have already occurred in the past.

A title insurance homeowner policy will cover:

  • Forgery – If someone forges your signature on a registered document that entitles them to sell or mortgage your home.
  • Duty To Defend – If you experience title risk, the policy will cover the legal fees and costs associated with restoring and protecting your title.
  • Lack of Building Permits – Prior to purchasing the home, if there were renovations performed without the proper building permits you may be required to remove or fix the structure.
  • Fraud – If someone fraudulently transfers your property without your consent.
  • Encroachments – If a structure built by a previous owner is outside the property boundaries, or if a neighbour builds a structure that is on your property.

Title Insurance offers you peace of mind if anything should happen to your property once you are the owner. It is relatively low cost, on average coming in at $200-$400. It is a one-time purchase and does not need to be purchased each year. More than reasonable right?

If you are still on the fence about obtaining title insurance, we’ve recently had a client who experienced title fraud:

A woman went to her bank to make a payment on a line of credit that was secured by a mortgage on her property. When she arrived, she was told that her $30,000 line of credit had been paid in full and that according to the lawyer who sent the funds, her house had been sold.

This left her quite perplexed, so she followed up with the land registry office. They confirmed the sale of the property for $350,000 and that a new mortgage was registered on the property for $325,000. The woman was stunned to find out that she had been the victim of a title fraud scheme—and that the fraudsters had collected $350,000 on the deal.

Thankfully, in the above case the woman was covered by a Title Insurance Policy which fully covered all her legal fees to remove the mortgage from title and rightfully transfer it back to her. Having the coverage saved her approximately $12,000 in legal fees, time, and stress.

Your home is a sizable investment and one you worked hard to purchase! Title Insurance can protect you and your property should there be anything that comes up. For the $200-$400 it costs, we feel that’s a low-price tag for peace of mind. Ready to get a quote? Let us help you by contacting Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to set up your Title Insurance Policy!